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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Scientists: Mt. Everest Only 29,017 Feet

October 9, 2005

BEIJING (AP) – The world’s highest mountain, Mount Everest, is 12 feet shorter than previously thought, Chinese scientists who measured the peak earlier this year said Sunday.

Their survey determined that the mountain was 29,017 feet, or 12 feet smaller than it was measured to be 30 years ago, said Chen Bangzhu, a spokesman with the Chinese State Bureau of Surveying and Mapping.

The survey was carried out by a team of 50 Chinese experts in May, Chen said at a press conference.

The new figure is based on the “most elaborate and precise data ever obtained by Chinese or foreign scientists,” said Chen.

Chen said the data did not mean the mountain had shrunk since it was last measured, but that previous measurements were less accurate.

A 1975 Chinese survey determined that the mountain was 29,029 feet high. Other estimates put its height at 29,035-feet.

Everest’s peak lies on the border between China and Nepal, with climbers providing a large source of income for people on both sides.